Peas are a hot plant protein, but they may soon cost more

Pea milk is a rising star in the alternative proteins world. But 1 supplier says it might be getting more expensive.

Easy peasy (Source: Ripple Foods)

Peas are a hot plant protein, but they may soon cost more

Peas are a buzzy alternative protein, but one supplier says bad weather may cause a price hike ultimately shouldered by consumers.

Roquette Freres is a French vegetable processing company that supplies, among other things, pea protein. It says bad weather and low yields in Europe, combined with a drought in Canada, have:

  • Reduced the pea supply by 45%
  • Caused prices to increase 120% from last year

Roquette thinks the “dramatic increase in prices will inevitably lead to costs being transferred to customers.”

At the same time, the demand for plant-based and alternative proteins has increased. A recent study suggests alternative proteins could account for 11% of the global protein market by 2035, compared to 2% in 2020.

Milk is one of the most popular uses for pea protein

Its market value was $122.9m globally in 2019, and it’s expected to reach $251.2m by 2027, per Allied Market Research.

Meanwhile, Ripple Foods, a frontrunner in the pea-based dairy industry, just raised $60m in Series E to expand, per Bloomberg.

What exactly is pea milk anyhow?

You don’t get pea milk by mashing a bunch of peas.

As journalist Larissa Zimberoff explains in her book, Technically Food, the peas are first shipped to a manufacturing plant — often in China.

There, the molecules are split into protein, fiber, and starch. So what pea milk is actually made from is a pea protein isolate powder.

You’ll probably be really popular at parties if you share that factoid.

Topics: Climate Food

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